P.S. to "Great Terror" Excerpt
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If I had seen this magnificent quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of one of my favorite books that inspire women, Women Who Run with the Wolves. I would have included it in my Healing Your Hungry Heart chapter, "The Great Terror." I'll keep this particular blog post open and add more ways of saying this as I find them. Please join in. Place in the comments quotes that speak to the necessary Great Terror and its resolution for recovery.
Here's more from the fabulous Clarissa
Deep in the wintry parts of our minds, we are hardy stock and know there is no such thing as a work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there.
All strong souls first go to hell before they do the healing of the world they came here for. If we are lucky, we return to help those still trapped below.
-from the poem Abre La Puerta in Theatre of the Imagination (Sounds True), also for Kol Nidre at shul
This is what we do when we recover from an eating disorder. We go through the pain of the healing journey. We develop the strength, tools and wisdom to bear what we feel, whatever we feel, and think at the same time. We gain understanding and learn compassion. Then we recognize people who are still trapped in their eating disorder and do our best to use our developed strength, tools and wisdom to show them there's a way out.
But, we can't remove the task of going through the pain for them, just as no one could remove it for us. They, like you and me, must develop their strength, tools and wisdom. We show them it can be done and support them in their agony and in their courage - not to soothe - but to find ways to bear the feelings and grow.
Do not lose heart, we were made for these times...
-from Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times
I dearly love this one. I think people lose heart when they believe their pain is unremitting and that there is no rescuer.
I believe they get tired and angry that all their pleas for help don't bring them the help they want. No one comes to make the pain go away.
Understanding the inevitable great terror, knowing that emotional agony is a passage and healing equips you to move through it, turns these false and dangerous assumptions around. If you feel pain, then your pain is your teacher. You need to accept it, feel it, grow and heal through it. That's what leads to solid recovery. Pain will still come to you just because you are a human being living in this world. You are mortal. You are vulnerable to the vicissitudes of life.
Because of the strength, tools and wisdom you gain in recovery you are so much better able to move through your challenges, whatever they may be.
P.S. The answer to the plea of "Please, help me," is not soothing. The answer is helping you bear what you feel.
The healing question is not "Please help me feel better." The healing question is, "Please help me bear this pain so I can become strong and learn the wisdom I need to know."
Please add quotes you discover that belong here.